IN US midterm elections, republ,cans capture house but democrats keep senate
Opposition Republicans delivered a stinging blow to President Barack Obama, capturing control of the House of Representatives in yesterday's midterm election. They also made big gains in the Senate but fell short of a majority. The Republican gains usher in an era of divided government for the United States. Obama will have to deal with a more conservative Congress, which will include members of the antiestablishment Tea Party movement. The results reflected Americans' frustrations with the weak US economy and disillusionment with Obama, who was swept into office two years ago on a message of hope and change. Republican John Boehner, destined to replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, called the results "a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government, and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people." House Republicans captured at least 220 seats and were leading in 20 other races. They needed 218 seats for control of the House. Republicans have had a net gain of 53 seats and were leading for another 13 Democratic-held seats. If current trends hold, Republicans could see their largest gains in the House in more than 70 years. In the Senate, Republicans won at least six Senate seats now held by Democrats. Among the victories was Obama's old seat in Illinois, captured by a congressman, Rep. Mark Kirk. The Republican gains will complicate Obama's ability to enact his proposals during the next two years and possibly force him to fight off attacks on healthcare legislation and other bills already signed into law. Although international affairs played little role in the campaign, Obama's agenda also would be affected in areas such as arms control and climate change. Obama scheduled a news conference for Wednesday to discuss the election outcome. Before the first results came in, Washington already was buzzing with speculation about whether Republican gains would lead to gridlock or attempts to find common ground, and how they would affect Obama's prospects for reelection in 2012.